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Orderly Chaos: The Mandala Principle (Dharma Ocean Series) Paperback – November 19, 1991

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chögyam Trungpa (1940–1987)—meditation master, teacher, and artist—founded Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, the first Buddhist-inspired university in North America; the Shambhala Training program; and an international association of meditation centers known as Shambhala International. He is the author of numerous books including Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, and The Myth of Freedom.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dharma Ocean Series
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (November 19, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877736367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877736363
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lisa Shea HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many books on Buddhism are written by people who got into it late in life. With Orderly Chaos - The Mandala Principle we are hearing from a Tibetan, Chogyam Trungpa, born in 1940, who at age 13 months was identified as a reincarnation of a venerable teacher. His tale is told in the book Born in Tibet. So this is a man who was trained from infancy in what it meant to be Buddhist, and who has lived that life with focus. He then moved to the Western world, due to the many political pressures, and brought his message to the US.

Orderly Chaos covers two different seminar sets he gave, one in 1972 and the other in 1974. In each he gives 6-7 speeches on an aspect of Buddhism, and then there question-and-answer sessions with the students. So you get both his wisdom in a straight flow, and then also back-and-forth with clarifying questions.

First, let me say that it is amazing to hear directly from a person of this level. Often they can only speak through an interpreter and only in terms that others find baffling. Here we have someone who lived in Western culture, who can speak in terms of blue jeans and "tripping" on drugs and so on. He can try to make things relateable. Also, clearly this man is an expert in his field. He knows all the ins and outs of the various terms and philosophies and can field any question thrown at him. So the book is well worth reading in terms of seeing a look into his thoughts on a variety of topics.

That being said, as much as this book is touted as a great way for beginners to start, I have to highly recommend that you know the basics of Buddhism before you pick this up. There are ALL sorts of terms being used here and the author assumes you know what they mean. A student will ask "why would karma and ratna be more solid than vajra?
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I think Trungpa's earlier works (usually talks that have been transcribed) have a lot more meat than the later ones. This one I've been impressed with, how he establishes mandala and then brings in the elements into it - their pristine aspects, and how the dualistic aspects (or neurotic aspects) arise. He has a way of explaining things in his earlier talks that really paints a picture without being too "clever" or "mysterious." Very happy.
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I picked this up for my son who is mentally ill with schizophrenia. I have also read it many times because it's one of those books you just can't read once. There's a lot of good material here.

First of all, the Mandala Principle isn't really some point of view or some arcane Buddhist philosophy. As I found out, the mandala principle is cosmic, universal, how reality exists.

One big point in this book is that the mind exists on a groundless dharmic ocean. There's nothing to hold on to is there? The mind feels like an infinite room we can put anything inside of. Well what he's saying is that reality breaks down at this point and what happens is orderly chaos. This orderly chaos is happening to you and at the same time you are making it happen. This process creates a fractal-like pattern. This is why it's probably called the Mandala Primciple... Because mandalas are fractalized geometry.
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This book isn't just a pleasing read - the work is sound enough to merit inclusion in my dissertation's Literature Review. Add in spiritual enrichment, and you get a good picture of this book!
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Somewhat advanced level Buddhist teaching by true master. All of Rinpoche's writing are brilliant, and this is a really good, clear teaching on the mandala.
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